tech and geek stuff
Video games may protect mental health and avert trauma, addiction
EnlargeGetty | Radachynskyi reader comments 2 Share this story Video games often blamed for rotting minds may actually protect them, according to a series of studies. Researchers report that Tetris—a...
Spinach leaf transforms into sheet of beating human heart cells
Enlarge / In this sequence, a spinach leaf is stripped of its plant cells, a process called decellularization, using a detergent. The process leaves behind the leaf's vasculature. Researchers at Worcester...
Millimeter telescope array spots early galaxies in “super halos” of gas
Enlarge / Artist's impression of a progenitor of galaxies like the Milky Way, seen when the Universe was only 1.5 billion years old. New observations reveal that these galaxies are surrounded by massive...
Smartphone sperm test could screen for infertility
What would happen if screening for male infertility was just about as easy as taking a pregnancy test in your home bathroom?That’s the question researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts...
“Startlingly effective” TV ads for testosterone helped lead to over-prescription
EnlargeGetty | Marc Bruxelle reader comments 2 Share this story With little evidence of health benefits, television advertisements for testosterone were very successful at persuading men to seek treatments...
Would apocalypse turn us into killers? Maybe not
When everything hits the fan, the end of the world is more likely to look like a friendly summer campout than an uber-violent scene from “Mad Max” or “The Walking Dead.”At least that’s what researchers...
Meet the parrot whose "laughter" is contagious
Humans appear to be in good company: the kea parrot of New Zealand has become the first non-mammal to show signs of contagious “laughter.”Kea parrots aren’t quite cracking each other up in mid-flight....
Spider venom messes with our brains—and may help protect them from harm
Enlarge / the Australian funnel-web spider (Hadronyche infensa) Toby Hudson reader comments 0 Share this story It may not be radioactive, but venom from a dangerous spider in Australia may help give researchers...
Unexpected, star-spangled find may lead to advanced electronics
Researchers have described a material that, when heated to about 450 degrees Celsius, transforms from an atomically thin, two-dimensional sheet into an array of one-dimensional nanowires, each just a few...
Out of the gate, health and research apps face-plant
Enlarge / Flat line alert on a heart monitor - 3d render on detailed pixellated screen.Getty | johan63 reader comments 3 Share this story There are three billion smartphones bouncing inside pockets and...
Whoa. Now hackers can take control of your phone through sound waves
A security loophole that would allow someone to add extra steps to the counter on your Fitbit monitor might seem harmless. But researchers say it points to the broader risks that come with technology's...
Here’s the first 3D glimpse of how DNA is packaged up in a single cell
Enlarge / Intact genome from a mouse embryonic stem cell with 20 chromosomes colored differentlyUniversity of Cambridge and MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology reader comments 0 Share this story In a...
Scientists develop sponge to clean up oil spills
NEW YORK — Federal researchers have created a new tool to clean up oil spills by tinkering with the kind of foam found in seat cushions.The modified foam can soak up oil floating on water and lurking below...
Vision, not limbs, led fish onto land 385 million years ago
A new study suggests it was the power of the eyes and not the limbs that first led our aquatic ancestors to make the leap from water to land. The researchers discovered that eyes nearly tripled in size...
This hard drive will self destruct. Data-wiping malware targets Europe
EnlargeWilliam Warby reader comments 1 Share this story Shamoon—the mysterious disk wiper that popped up out nowhere in 2012 and took out more than 35,000 computers in a Saudi Arabian-owned gas company...
Turning the water on in a sink can launch pipe-climbing superbugs
EnlargeGetty | Hinterhaus Productions reader comments 13 Share this story For years, researchers have tracked the source of hospital outbreaks back to superbug-splashing sinks. For instance, researchers...
How much urine is in a swimming pool?
Canadian researchers have answers to a question you might regret asking: How much urine is in a typical swimming pool?Using the presence of acesulfame-K (ACE), a widely consumed synthetic sweetener, as...
The ultimate power nap: Researchers use 'Fitbits' to track elephant sleep in the wild
Behavioral studies of elephant sleep in zoos record that they sleep around four hours per day and can sleep standing up or lying down -- but how much do they sleep and how do they sleep in their natural...
Plastic synapses offer hardware alternative to neural networks
EnlargeMooganic reader comments 5 Share this story Neural networks were all the rage for a while, but progress eventually slowed and interest cooled. Then, as computing power increased, the field experienced...
New find could be oldest evidence of life ever discovered
EnlargeMatthew Dodd reader comments 20 Share this story The study of life’s history on Earth is an ongoing effort to follow the thread further and further back in time. As amazing and fascinating as a...
Sweetener found in urine lets slip how much we pee into pools: up to 75L
Enlarge / You know why that kid is smiling.Getty | Imgorthand reader comments 30 Share this story It is a truth universally acknowledged that a pool in good use by humans will contain pee. As Ars has...
Which stories go viral? Those that tickle just the right spots of our brains
Enlarge / Ooooh, I should share this on Facebook.Getty | Bert Hardy reader comments 2 Share this story To figure out if a story will go viral on the Web, a crystal ball might seem useful. After all, any...
New insights into the mechanisms into how ungulates got bigger in the Neogene
The observed increase of body size in ungulates during the 20 million years before the Pleistocene is driven by the process of species selection, according to researchers. Bigger ungulate species became...
Superbug infections rising rapidly and spreading silently in kids
EnlargeGetty | Michael Bradley reader comments 11 Share this story Dangerous multidrug-resistant infections are surging in children across the country, researchers report in the Journal of the Pediatric...
Theoretical battle: dark energy vs. modified gravity
Expansion driven by dark energy is now overwhelming the effect of gravity.Photograph by Copyright Nobel Media reader comments 2 Share this story Two decades ago, scientists found that the Universe’s expansion...
Researchers Crack the Secure Hash Algorithm-1 Cryptographic Function
Google's vast cloud computing infrastructure was was harnessed to demonstrate that it is possible to crack the Secure Hash Algorithm-1 cryptographic function through a brute force computational methods....
Apple expands in Microsoft's backyard
Apple is growing its team in Seattle by creating a new hub for artificial intelligence research. Apple's expansion will also bolster a relationship with researchers at the University of Washington, which...
20 years after Dolly, lessons learned about cloning
Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the announcement of Dolly the sheep, the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. Her creation left a lasting impact on both the public and the field of developmental...
Researchers discover security problems under the hood of automobile apps
Enlarge / Some connected car apps may be like leaving owners' keys on the dash for malware to steal. reader comments 10 Share this story In a presentation at this week's RSA security conference in San...
Want to ward off mosquitoes? Candles and bracelets are worthless
Female Aedes aegypti mosquito as she was in the process of obtaining a "blood meal."US Department of Health and Human Services reader comments 11 Share this story Already daydreaming about warm, outdoor...
Rhesus monkeys pass the mirror test, but only after training
EnlargePaul Asman and Jill Lenoble reader comments 0 Share this story If you passed out at a party and someone drew a mustache on your face, you’d know it when you next looked in a mirror. There are a...
Brain scans during the first year can predict autism in high-risk babies
Jan Krutisch reader comments 8 Share this story By scanning the growing brains of 148 babies with high and low risks of autism, researchers could predict which children would develop the disorder within...
Ötzi the Iceman: Researchers validate the stability of genetic markers
Biomarkers are biological attributes that can give doctors or researchers clues about the health status or illnesses of a patient. Scientists are placing great hope in a new type of biomarker, so-called...
Could worms be behind a mysterious outbreak of a seizure disorder in kids?
Enlarge / A nurse distributes medicine, ivermectin, against onchocerciasis or river blindness, caused by a parasitic worm and spread by the bite of an infected blackfly.Getty | ISSOUF SANOGO reader comments...
Ancient "sea monster" gave birth to live babies
The “birth plan” of an ancient Nessie look-alike didn’t involve laying a giant egg, but rather delivering a live baby sea monster, a new study finds.Until now, researchers had thought that the fearsome...
xxdigipxx reader comments 5 Share this story For a decade, every major operating system has relied on a technique known as address space layout randomization to provide a first line of defense against...
New Mac malware pinned on same Russian group blamed for election hacks
EnlargeSumitcommunicationcyber reader comments 12 Share this story APT28, the Russian hacking group tied to last year's interference in the 2016 presidential election, has long been known for its advanced...
Exotic trip planned? Packing antibiotics may mean bringing home superbugs
EnlargeGetty | JAIME REINA reader comments Share this story Those bitten by the ‘travel bug’ risk getting another type of bug—the drug-resistant kind. But trying to fight off those bacteria with drugs...
Quirk helps squid navigate ocean "twilight zone"
As its name implies, the cockeyed squid has some peculiar peepers: One is small and black, and the other is exceptionally large and yellow. Now, scientists think they know the reason for the squid’s wonky...
Gut juice could power the next generation of health gadgets
Enlarge / A small, ingestible voltaic cell powered by the acidic fluids in the stomach.MIT | Diemut Strebe reader comments 0 Share this story Move over, wearables. Soon, ingestibles that run on the power...
Handful of “highly toxic” Wikipedia editors cause 9% of abuse on the site
reader comments 24 Share this story 3D representation of 30 days of Wikipedia talk-page revisions, of which 1092 contained toxic language (shown as red if live, gray if reverted) and 164,102 were non-toxic...
Diarrhea-causing Salmonella can be weaponized to flush out cancer
Enlarge / SalmonellaCDC reader comments 0 Share this story A notorious germ best known for getting people rushing to the bathroom may one day have cancer patients headed to clinics for a new treatment...
Science explores why certain songs give you pleasure
The chemicals in the brain linked to the pleasure people get from things like sex and drugs also play a role in how people enjoy music, a new, small study from Canada finds.When people in the study took...
A rash of invisible, fileless malware is infecting banks around the globe
INVISIBLE-MAN_1933_James Whale reader comments 1 Share this story Further ReadingStepson of Stuxnet stalked Kaspersky for months, tapped Iran nuke talksTwo years ago, researchers at Moscow-based Kaspersky...
Researchers add human intuition to planning algorithms
Researchers are trying to improve automated planners by giving them the benefit of human intuition. By encoding the strategies of high-performing human planners in a machine-readable form, they were able...
Your office equipment can reveal the identity of your special someone
EnlargeGetty | Thomas Trutschel reader comments 1 Share this story WASHINGTON, DC—Your computer keyboard and your significant-other likely have something in common: they’re both marked by your microbial...
Internet ‘playground’ trials new tech to deliver smart cities
Let’s playHiroshi Watanabe/GettyBy Timothy RevellThe internet is ready for an upgrade. That’s according to UK researchers who are setting up an “internet playground” to try out new kinds of internet infrastructure...
Researchers engineer new thyroid cells
Researchers have discovered a new efficient way to generate thyroid cells, known as thyrocytes, using genetically modified embryonic stem cells. The findings are the first step to developing a similar...
Before babies even babble or roll, they’re primed to be superhero fans
Farrukh reader comments 3 Share this story By preschool, lots of toddlers will proudly don superhero attire and fervently expound on the need to stand up to bullies, defeat villains, and fight for good...
Researchers Develop a Better Drone: Bat Bot
Holy drone, Batman! Mechanical masterminds have spawned the Bat Bot, a soaring, sweeping and diving robot that may eventually fly circles around other drones. Because it mimics the unique and more flexible...
Researchers break data transfer efficiency record
Researchers have set a new record in the transfer of information via superdense coding, a process by which the properties of particles like photons, protons and electrons are used to store as much information...
After years of being “locked in,” patients communicate, say they’re happy
Enlarge / A female study participant responds to a question.Wyss Center reader comments Share this story Patients with “locked-in syndrome”—conscious, but fully paralyzed and unable to move even their...
Glasses Self-Adjust Focus in 14 Milliseconds
Using simple glycerine contained between two membranes, University of Utah researchers developed glasses that automatically adjust focus. With the help of an infrared distance-measuring device, some electronic...
Pig-human hybrid brings us closer to barnyard organ factories
A 4-week-old pig embryo injected with human pluripotent stem cellsSalk Institute, JUAN CARLOS IZPISUA BELMONTE reader comments Share this story Scientists have successfully created pig embryos that contain...
Researchers report new understanding of global warming
Researchers know that more, and more dangerous, storms have begun to occur as the climate warms. A team of scientists has reported an underlying explanation, using meteorological satellite data gathered...
Your Android phone’s lock pattern can be cracked in just five attempts
If you use a pattern lock to keep your Android phone secure, you might want to consider switching to a PIN, or better yet a fingerprint scanner, as researchers have found that patterns are fairly easy...
Mental “vaccine” protects both parties from plague of fake news and lies
EnlargeGetty | BSIP reader comments 5 Share this story National outbreaks of fake news and partisan “disinformation” have convinced many Americans to doubt scientific consensus—such as the near-unanimous...
Wolf-sized otter once swam the waters of ancient China
A fearsome, wolf-size otter with a large head and a powerful jaw once swam around the shallow, swampy waters of ancient China, likely hunting for clams and other shellfish, a new study finds.The 6.2-million-year-old...
Cervical cancer just got much deadlier—because scientists fixed a math error
Enlarge / Close up of cancer cells in the cervix, the portion of the uterus that is attached to the top of the vagina. Getty | American Cancer Society reader comments 4 Share this story Cervical cancer...
A new theory on what killed the dinosaurs
When a giant asteroid careened into Earth about 66 million years ago, the enormous collision led to the formation of an airborne “curtain” of sulfate molecules that blocked the sun’s light and led to years...
Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
Update: New Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus price information and release date information has become available, so we've added it to our ongoing review.The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is the new Android phone that's...
Samsung unveils Galaxy S8 'comeback' phone
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus bump up the screen size by doing away with a physical home button and dramatically reducing the frame - or bezel.Taking up nearly all of the front of the phone, the screen curves...
Samsung Galaxy S8 hands-on: Samsung produces a stunning redesign
reader comments 15 Share this story Jennifer Hahn NEW YORK CITY—After tons of leaks and speculation, the Galaxy S8 is finally here. Samsung took the wraps off its newest flagship at the swanky Lincoln...
Samsung unveils Galaxy S8, after Note 7 fiasco
NEW YORK -- Samsung seems to be playing it safe with its first major smartphone since the embarrassing recall of its fire-prone Note 7.The Galaxy S8 features a larger display than its predecessor, the...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark